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Century Old North Salem Outhouse Finds New Family

What happened to Outhouse? If you're looking for North Salem's iconic Outhouse Orchards and its crunchy apples, dreamy donuts and pumpkin patches, it's no longer there.

Wayne Outhouse, descendent of the 100-year old farm's founder, A. J. Outhouse, retired a few months ago. The reason might be that he got tired of explaining that his name translates from the Dutch Althausen. More likely, he decided to take a well-earned rest after nearly 35 years of running the family business.

The farm and orchard remain a family enterprise, only now it's the Covino family: Rob and Ursula and their children, Corinne, Kevin and Alex are all part of the business. They re-opened as Harvest Moon Farm and Orchard in May and they've got impressive plans on the drawing board.

"This is really a work in progress," explains Rob Corvino. "Eventually we want to be completely organic. Right now all our vegetables are chemical-free. Making the adjustment with the apples is a little harder."

The Corvinos have refurbished the farm's buildings and designed a new layout. The friendly animals -- goats, ducks, chickens -- are still there, but living in new quarters toward the back of the property.

The free-range chickens hang out in a mobile coop which is moved regularly so that they get fresh land where they can roam and peck freely and healthily. New animals will be coming along, too. "A cow and some quails," said Corvino.

The farm plans to sell fresh-killed vegetarian-fed turkeys for Thanksgiving and the year end holidays. They will also raise bees for honey and maple trees for fresh syrup.

Rob Corvino is dedicated to proper nourishment. "Your health depends a lot on the food you eat," he said. "You can save money on medications if you spend it on the right food instead."

"But we couldn't give up the donuts" he added. Outhouse was famous for them and people are so happy to see that we still serve them."

The name, Harvest Moon, was chosen because the autumn phenomenon is the most important time of year for a farmer. The moon gives a full steady light, so bright that farmers can work through the entire night and reap the harvest before the ?rst frost sets in.

Soon after the orchard opened, its staff was blessed with an unexpected good luck charm. A couple of new-born kittens, apparently abandoned by their mother, were found nestled into the base of an apple tree.

Do you have memories to share about the Outhouse Orchards? Been to Harvest Moon yet? Please share memories or thoughts.

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